Patterns of Redemption in Virgil's Georgics (Cambridge Classical Studies)

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9780521155120: Patterns of Redemption in Virgil's Georgics (Cambridge Classical Studies)
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At the time of this book's first publication in 1999, orthodoxy interpreted the Georgics as a statement of profound ambivalence towards Octavian and his claim to be Rome's saviour after the catastrophe of the civil wars. This book takes issue with the model of the subtly subversive poet. It argues that in the turbulent political circumstances which obtained at the time of the poem's composition, Virgil's preoccupation with violent conflict has a highly optimistic import. Octavian's brutal conduct in the civil wars is subjected to a searching analysis, but is ultimately vindicated, refigured as a paradoxically constructive violence analogous to blood sacrifice or Romulus' fratricide of Remus. The vindication of Octavian also has strictly literary implications for Virgil. The close of the poem sees Virgil asserting his mastery of the Homeric mode of poetry and the providential world-view it was thought to embody.

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"This is clearly a learned book and I have learned a lot from reading it..." Robert Cramer, Universitaet Bonn, email

Book Description:

This is a 1999 study of one of the most famous poems of Roman literature. By close reading of selected passages from the Georgics the author seeks to understand the work in terms of the cultural and political upheavals which were afflicting Rome at the time of its composition.

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9780521651660: Patterns of Redemption in Virgil's Georgics (Cambridge Classical Studies)

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ISBN 10: 0521651662 ISBN 13: 9780521651660
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, 1999
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